Intelsat S.A., the world’s leading provider of satellite services, and MTN Satellite Communications (MTN), the leading global provider of communications, connectivity and content services to remote locations around the world, announced today that MTN has committed to Intelsat EpicNG, Intelsat’s next generation, high-performance, open architecture satellite platform for the cruise and yacht sectors.

Under a long-term agreement, MTN will leverage the first Intelsat EpicNG satellite, Intelsat 29e, to provide more than 2 gigabits of capacity for MTN’s cruise and yacht customers in the Caribbean.

The Intelsat EpicNG platform is a complementary overlay to Intelsat’s leading global satellite network.  Initially, MTN will utilize capacity on Intelsat’s Ku-band mobile global broadband infrastructure. Once Intelsat 29e is launched in 2015, MTN will then partially transition to its custom-designed service on the Intelsat EpicNG platform, enabling MTN to deliver an unprecedented level of throughput in key Caribbean regions, especially for the cruise and yacht sectors.  

“MTN has been an important partner to Intelsat for more than two decades, and is one of the true pioneers of the maritime VSAT sector,” said Steve Spengler, Intelsat EVP of Sales, Marketing and Strategy. “The Intelsat EpicNG platform will be the perfect complement to MTN’s intense focus on innovation and commitment to its customers, and will enable MTN to differentiate its service features and achieve much higher throughput per vessel, changing the cruise ship experience by offering affordable, reliable connectivity.”

“MTN has chosen the Intelsat EpicNG platform for our revolutionary High-Throughput Multi-Spot (HTMS Ku-band solution for the Caribbean. This game-changing infrastructure will allow us to once again set the bar for broadband telecommunications at sea,” said Errol Olivier, President and CEO of MTN Satellite Communications. “This is the first of a series of strategic initiatives that will include much more than just satellite bandwidth.  Our cruise and yacht customers want to offer their guests and crew the same Internet experience they have at home or at land-based resorts.  We are confident that our service on Intelsat EpicNG, along with our other innovative wireless and application optimization solutions, will exceed our customers’ expectations.”  

“After thoroughly evaluating several high-throughput satellite alternatives, we concluded that the Intelsat EpicNG Ku-band spot beams were the ideal solution for the mission-critical needs of our customers,” said Kevin McCarthy, MTN’s SVP of Network Engineering. “The innovative Intelsat EpicNG platform will give us unprecedented control, allowing us to customize every aspect of the service. The resulting design will provide unmatched throughput and reliability, while maintaining backwards compatibility with the rest of our global Ku-band network. Our cruise and yacht customers will be able to seamlessly roam into our high-throughput beams with their existing Ku antennas.”